Ron Kovic

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Ron Kovic

Endorsing ANSWER campaign

Since Oct. 26, 2002 when hundreds of thousands of people marched and rallied in Washington and San Francisco against the Bush administration's growing war on Iraq, the government has pretended that nothing happened.

The International ANSWER coalition, which called the Oct. 26 demonstrations, is now building new national actions on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend in January. It is also gathering hundreds of thousands of registrations in a referendum against the war, both online and on paper.

The group's web site now has a long list of endorsers for the Jan. 18-19 actions that shows the broad social character of this movement. It encompasses groups and individuals from almost every area of activism for justice, equality, peace and a better life for all the people.

Key endorsers of the Oct. 26 demonstrations like former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, Rev. Graylan Hagler, Dr. Hans Christof von Sponeck--former director of the UN Oil for Food Program, Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, people's historian Howard Zinn and Congressperson Cynthia McKinney Dr. James Tate, Executive Director, National Alliance Against Racism and Political Repression; John Dear, former executive director of the Fellowship for Reconciliation; Attorney Michael Tarif Warren, singer Patti Smith, the Rev. Herbert Daughtry, author Ron Kovic and hundreds more.[1]

"NO WAR, NO WAY"

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Jan 19, 2003, ANSWER brought together an impressive array of speakers at two rallies—one that began at 11 a.m. in the sprawling National Mall, and a concluding rally at the Washington Shipyard.

Moonanum James, co-chair of United American Indians of New England and a Vietnam-era veteran, opened the rally by connecting the U.S. government’s ongoing racist war against Native peoples with their preparations for a racist war against Iraq.

Anti-war speakers included Charley Richardson and Nancy Lessen from Military Families Speak Out and Liz McAlister, partner and widow of the late peace activist Philip Berrigan. “No blood for oil!” demanded disabled Vietnam War veteran Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July.”

Speaking out for labor against the war: Brenda Stokely, president of AFSCME 1707 and Local 215 as well as a co-convener of New York City Labor Against the War; Fred Mason, president of statewide Maryland and D.C. AFL-CIO; Michael Letwin from U.S. Labor Against War and Dr. Nadia Marsh from Doctors and Nurses Against the War.

ANSWER speakers included Youth and Student Coordinator Peta Lindsay, Elias Rashmawi from the Free Palestine Alliance. Jennifer Wager from IFCO/Pastors for Peace, Mara Verheyden-Hilliard from PCJ and Larry Holmes and Brian Becker, both from the International Action Center.

Speakers representing other anti-war coalitions included Bill Fletcher, Jr., co-chair of United for Peace and Justice; Damu Smith from Black Voices for Peace; Medea Benjamin from Global Exchange, and Miles Solay from Not In Our Name.

Jesse Heiwa, from Queers for Peace and Justice, New York, pointed to the growing coalition of lesbian, gay, bi and trans organizations against the war. Brooklyn-based activists Viola Plummer from the December 12th Movement and City Councilman Charles Barron raised the need for anti-racist solidarity, including fighting for reparations. Singer Patti Smith and D.C. cultural artists Pam Parker and Lucy Murphy performed. [2]

Endorsed Marcy Winograd

In 2006 Ron Kovic a Vietnam Veteran, Author, Co-Founder of Vietnam Veterans Against the War was a National & State and a Peace & Social Justice Community endorser of Marcy Winograd of the Los Angeles Progressive Democrats of America in her unsuccessful primary bid for the Democratic Party nomination 26th Congressional District in California[3]

Los Angeles Ant-War event

The week leading up to the anti-war demonstration at Olympic and Broadway in Los Angeles on Sept. 29, 2007 which included a tent city to “Occupy the Occupiers,” was historic in many ways.

When the idea was first introduced by members of the Troops Out Now Coalition-L.A., a group that was formed to build for the September actions in Los Angeles.

Organizations led workshops that included the history of struggles in the Philippines by BAYAN USA and in El Salvador by the FMLN. Life in present-day Cuba and the struggle to free the Cuban Five was presented by FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together) along with the Coalition in Solidarity with Cuba and the American Friends Service Committee.

U.S. Labor Against the War organized a discussion on the trade union movement. The Garment Workers Center led a discussion on labor rights and immigration. A very exciting multimedia presentation was done by members of the March 25th Coalition, Students for a Democratic Society and Latinos Against the War on Venezuela and Colombia that included the immigrant rights struggle. Workers World Party held a teach-in on building unity to stop the war, using the book “Bolsheviks and War” by Sam Marcy.

Presenters at the Encampment included Ron Kovic, author of “Born on the Fourth of July”; Eisha Mason of AFSC; Namibia Donadio of FIST; Don Bustany of Pacifica Radio’s Middle East in Focus; Carol Frances Likins of the Coalition in Solidarity with Cuba; Andy Griggs and Tom McKenzie of USLAW; Carlos Montes of Latinos Against the War; Martha Rojas of the March 25th Coalition; Eric Gardner of Students for a Democratic Society and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization/FightBack!; Berny Motto of the FMLN; Mazen Almoukdad, member of Al-Awda; Terrie Cervas, Bev Tang and Apollo Victoria of BAYAN USA; and Larry Hales of Workers World Party and FIST.

At the demonstration on the 29th, Palestine was a prominent focus. Mahmud Ahmad, representing Al-Awda Los Angeles, was one of the first speakers at the main rally who made the connection between U.S. wars of aggression and their unbreakable link to the struggle in Palestine.

Speakers at the main rally included actor Mimi Kennedy; Fernando Suarez del Solar of Military Families Speak Out; Hamid Kahn of South Asian Network; Omar Jubran of CAIR; Jasimen Syler of United Liberation Army; Cheryl LaBash of U.S./Cuba Labor Exchange; Andy Griggs of USLAW; Deanna Taylor, national co-chair Peace Action Committee—Green Party USA; Gloria Verdieu of San Diego International Action Center; Eric Gardner of UCLA SDS; Carlos Montes of Latinos Against the War; Hwa Young Lee of Korea Truth Commission; and Terrie Cervas of BAYAN USA, who gave a rousing speech about the significance of the week’s events.

The main rally was co-chaired by Namibia Donadio of FIST and Berny Motto of FMLN. [4]

References